Real Madrid – Real Sociedad Preview: Los Blancos seek fresh start after winter break



Essien, Albiol, Varane, Arbeloa

Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo



Estrada, Gonzalez, I Martinez, De La Bella

Illarramendi, Pardo

Vela, Prieto, Griezmann

Real Madrid have a host of defensive problems heading into Sunday’s Primera Division clash with Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Fabio Coentrao (thigh), Pepe, Marcelo (both ankle) and Sergio Ramos (suspension) are out, but Raul Albiol, Raphael Varane and Gonzalo Higuain all return from spells on the sidelines.

Boss Jose Mourinho is under pressure to restore captain Iker Casillas to the starting line-up, after the Spain international was surprisingly dropped in favour of Antonio Adan for the 3-2 defeat at Malaga.

Real Sociedad are set to be without defender Carlos Martinez, who is struggling with a hip problem.

Midfielder Gorka Elustondo has recovered from a foot injury that has sidelined him since August and is likely to be named on the bench, but Asier Illarramendi is a minor doubt.

  • Real Madrid have won just four of their last nine matches in all competitions.

  • Madrid conceded the fewest number of La Liga goals in 2012, shipping just 34.
  • Los Merengues are on a 20-match unbeaten Liga run at the Santiago Bernabeu.
  • Real Sociedad are on an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W4, D4)

  • The Basque outfit have lost their last seven encounter with Madrid.
  • Sociedad’s last Liga win at the Bernabeu was a 4-1 success in May 2004.

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